Battery Swap Advocate Files for Liquidation in Israel,
‘Clear that Wider Public Take Up Would Not Be Sufficient’
The electric vehicle battery swap advocate Better Place, which closed its San Francisco office operation earlier this year, said over the U.S. holiday weekend that it is bailing out of its targeted markets of Israel and Denmark too, filing a motion in Tel Aviv “to ask for the dissolution of the company and the appointment of a temporary liquidator.”
Better Place sought to get around the cost and especially the long charging times of EV batteries by swapping depleted ones for charged ones at special facilities, several of which were established around the world.
OEM Support Never Materialized
“Unfortunately,” the company says, “after a year’s commercial operation, it was clear to us that despite many satisfied customers, the wider public take up would not be sufficient and that the support from the car producers was not forthcoming.
“Against that background, the most recent fundraising round was not successful.”
“This is a difficult day for all of us,” Better Place CEO Dan Cohen said in a release. “We have come a long way in order to bring about a global vision.
“From the start, Better Place was a breakthrough for the infrastructure of the electric car industry and successfully completed the development of its technology and infrastructure. Israel was the first place in which an electrical car could travel without limit.
From the December 10, 2007 issue of Fleets & Fuels, covering the EVS-23 world electric vehicles meeting in Anaheim, Calif.
- One of the more intriguing items at EVS-23 was a treatise by software millionaire Shai Agassi likening the transition needed for viable electric vehicles to the past decade’s embrace of the cellular telephone.
- EV drivers stand to spend far less money on electricity than today’s drivers spend on fuel, Agassi notes.
- He wants to capitalize on that potential economic windfall.
According to the Better Place board’s May 26 statement, “This is a very sad day for all of us. We stand by the original vision as formulated by Shai Agassi of creating a green alternative that would lessen our dependence on highly polluting transportation technologies. While he was able with partners and investors to overcome multiple challenges to demonstrate that it was possible to deliver a technological solution that would fulfill that vision.
‘Path Littered with Obstacles’
“Unfortunately, the path to realizing that vision was difficult, complex and littered with obstacles, not all of which we were able to overcome.
“The technical challenges we overcame successfully, but the other obstacles we were not able to overcome, despite the massive effort and resources that were deployed to that end.”
France’s Renault, with its Fluence ZE, is believed to have been the only automaker to offer an EV with a switchable battery as an option.
Contact information is only available to premium subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.
Source: Better Place with Fleets & Fuels follow-up